Posts filed under ‘israel’
He states that he worked so hard to do so many things, but in the end, everything he worked so hard to gain and achieve will be left in the hands of someone who comes after him and did not even work for it. That person will receive all that Solomon did as an inheritance. To top it off, the person who inherits what Solomon had, might end up being a complete fool – literally, a moron. Solomon seems to despair of it and rightly so. In fact, he says this in verse 20 that he did despair because he was seeing things so clearly.
Of course, we need to realize that Solomon is not referring to godly wisdom, but simply wisdom that can come from native intelligence, or secular wisdom. Having worldly or secular wisdom is no guarantee of success and avoidance of foolishness. In fact, even having true godly wisdom is no guarantee of success. Consider King David, Solomon’s father. He loved the Lord and parts of the Old Testament are filled with examples of how mightily God worked in and through David. Yet, in spite of the heights to which David arrived due to his commitment to the Lord and the Lord helping him achieve things that he would not have been able to achieve without God, David sinned terribly by having an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, then having her husband Uriah, murdered. Even godly wisdom must be used and obeyed. It’s not enough to simply know the correct path.
The purchases and his collections initially gave Solomon joy. However, in the end, it was all vanity, chasing the wind! In short, there was nothing of eternal value in all the things he had amassed for himself. He’s not talking about building the Temple here or doing other things for God. He is talking about the things he pursued for himself, in order to make his own life easier.
I’m fairly certain we don’t have to think too hard to understand just exactly how easily and quickly things can take a downhill turn. What starts out as fun often turns out to be tragic. Solomon is correct when he says that these things – behaving foolishly and indulging in wine – are absolutely futile. They are time-wasters because they normally add nothing to our lives.
It is also very important to realize that Solomon is speaking here of human knowledge and wisdom. So far, he has not mentioned God at all and he has excluded God for a reason. There are many people living today who do not believe in God. They give no acknowledgement of Him and if they do agree there is something beyond the grave, to them, it’s all ethereal and very impersonal. This alone is proof that human knowledge leading to any sort of wisdom can still fall woefully short of actual truth. There are brilliant scientists who achieved wonderful things, yet who also tell us that there is no God. Their knowledge and wisdom is severely limited. However, to them, they would say they see further than the average person. In certain things, yes. In spiritual areas, no. Theirs is secular knowledge leading to secular wisdom. In the end, this can really do nothing for us when compared with eternity. Secular knowledge and wisdom has no eternal value. Even though Solomon does not come out and say this, this is exactly what he is implying. We must read between the lines of his statements.
Are you one of those people who is actually satisfied with life, with what God has given you, or do you constantly yearn for more? If you’re struggling financially, I can certainly understand why you would want a better job to provide for yourself or your family. Do you think God is aware of your need? I’m sure He is and maybe He’s waiting for you to simply accept what you have and let Him guide you to that next phase as He sees fit. Maybe there are things you can get rid of in your life now, which will free up some of your money so that things are not as tight.
Solomon almost seems desperate to make us aware of this fact. Again, he has set out to prove his thesis that all is vanity. He is, in these three verses, helping us understand that the basic needs do not change from one generation to another. While the way things are done might change, the fact that they continue to be done proves his statement that life is completely cyclical in nature. What should this tell us about life in general and the way people should react to it or enjoy it?